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Interactive marketing and other great advertising ideas since 2003
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November 28, 2003
Find Nemo at McDonald's and win a Nokia phone

McDonald's Italia will launch next week a series of promotion connected to the movie "Finding Nemo". Buying a McMenu and a soft drink, customers will be able to scratch the glass and find a code. The code has to be texted to a McD number, if it's a winning one, than entrant will receive a prize, a Nokia 3200 phone. As explains Pubblicit�Italia there will also be a competition for kids to win Finding Nemo characters toys.

November 27, 2003
Online ads: the bigger the better?

After successful tests with a small group of advertisers, the IAB determined that the new larger ad sizes enhanced impact and response and facilitated more attractive creatives. This is stated in a press release by Real Media Europe, a division of 24/7 Real Media, dispatched through Yahoo! News.

But is it really like this, I mean, the bigger the better? I'm not so sure. Sometimes I feel like the IAB provides the industry with guidelines and suggestions that don't really fit in the reality, but just the big portals' needs.
Online advertising is not only about size, it's about context, relevance, timing and quality of the content. Let's try not to forget it.

Back from the Forrester Consumer Forum

I'm back from London where I attended the Forrester Consumer Forum about to "Driving Integrated Marketing Excellence" (that's why I haven't updated this blog lately). I'll be posting soon about it, keep tuned...

November 19, 2003
MTV presents 'Made in dream' competition

Pubblicit�Italia reports today of an interesting marketing initiative by MTV in co-operation with Sisal, the Italian Company which conducts the National weekly lottery. MTV viewers will be able to join a competition by describing online their dreams. In order to enter users should have a valid lotto ticket. The more the tickets, the more the dreams to submit.
The prize?
The best nine dreams will become true...

Winners in New York

At New York Festivals' 2003 International Interactive Awards the winners have been: Nike, Volvo and Hugo Boss. AdWeek features the competition results giving a few more details about the winning campaigns.

Kill Bill and rich media ads

The movie industry is using more and more online ads to promote upcoming films. In particular, rich media ads, have been used by Tarantino & C. to promote Kill Bill. iMediaConnection talks about Kill Bill rich media ads today. It's funny to see that on the same page the Web site has displayed an ad to "meet Bill"... is he the same person to "kill"? Here's the screenshot.

Playstation 2 holiday push

"Live in Your World. Play in Ours.(TM)"
This is Sony message to engage more and more people with PlayStation 2. In a press release on Yahoo! News the Japanese giant explains its strategy for a Christmas marketing push: there will be a massive investment in advertising on Tv, cinema, print and outdoor, as well as online. The online advertising will run across broad-reaching sites such as entertainment, gift-giving and kids destinations.

November 18, 2003
Ad exposure time is not the answer

To evaluate online advertising you can't mix all the variables together (as the IAB did). I'm not in the position to say whether Nate Elliott is right or wrong, but I very much liked his column yesterday on ClickZ in which he stands and criticizes the recent numbers on online advertising presented by the IAB and PWC. It's unusual to see someone raising his voice like this and I surely admire Nate for taking such a strong position. He says:

"This industry needs a good, easy way for advertisers to understand the brand impact of their advertising. Ad exposure time doesn't look like the answer."

Branding the impossible

Remember, there was a time when advertising didn't exist... but now these times are gone and, as the New York Times writes today: "The trend to advertise in places that had until recently been advertising-free is accelerating, with two major marketers clambering aboard the booming brand wagon."
The reference by Stuart Elliot in his excellent column is to Toyota and Nextel, but these are just two examples of "branding the impossible".
Maybe we have reached a point of no return :-(

Audio improves awareness of Online Advertising

According to a new study by Dynamic Logic, audio can greatly increase the awareness of online advertising. The news is reported today on MediaPost, explaining that the study, which was conducted for BabyCenter LLC, found that advertisers experienced 15 percent to 168 percent lifts in awareness by incorporating audio into the creative of ads.

A few doubts...
- Many people surf the Web at work with the audio turned off...
- Many times audio might get annoying instead of interesting to users' ears. In a way, it's like pop-ups: an unexpected audio might disturb your quite navigation, taking your attention away from the content you are reading.

November 17, 2003
Fiat presents its "Idea" online

You can't exactly say Fiat cars are as good and as nice as German cars, but you can't deny the Italian auto-maker doesn't pay attention to communication. Fiat tv spots are always based on excellent creative ideas and usually also quite entertaining to watch. Now Fiat has decided to take the Web seriously, introducing its upcoming Fiat Idea with a special micro-site. On you can preview the car that will be launched in January, and join a competition to win an Xbox or, if you are very lucky (or unlucky, it depends from the point of view ;-), a Fiat Idea.

PS: The competition is open to Italians only... sorry.

November 14, 2003
Auto-makers and online advertising

Online advertising has become a serious stuff for auto-makers. They are heavily investing in the media, and apparently getting good results back. On iMediaConnection Jim Meskauskas presents an excellent state of the art analysis of past, present and future of auto-makers online advertising.

November 13, 2003
Sony Vaio TV online promotion

German agency Human-I has developed the new Sony's online campaign to promote the Vaio Tv. As exaplained on eMARKET they have created pop-ups, 30" tv spots and large banners, as well as the Vaio Tv landing page.

November 12, 2003
The future of pop-ups

Microsoft is planning to add a pop-up blocking feature to the next release of Internet Explorer. As NetImperative reports that the pop-up blocking feature would be available as part of an updated version of Explorer with Service Pack 2, which is scheduled for release during the first half of 2004. What will happen to pop-ups? Will Microsoft's move declare the death of this advertising format?

I believe the question will be also connected to the possible problems that will arise will all pop-ups in general, not only the ad ones. In the Company I work for, we are experiencing quite a lot of problems with the Google Toolbar the pop-up windows we launch with Javascript in our e-learning courses.

November 11, 2003
Banner drive retention

On MarketingWonk Tig Tillinghast reports today of a recent study by the University of Chicago business school that banner may be the most effective ad in helping retain customers.

Well, once again someone saying that you can't measure banners' effectiveness by counting the clicks. It's all about branding, delivering and reinforcing a message.

Lego's online promotion

As Revolution Magazine reports today, Lego, the Danish toy manufacturer is running a pan-european interactive campaign to raise awareness of its Bionicle, Sports and Racers lines. The campaign is running on Fox Kids websites in the UK, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and The Netherlands, driving traffic to microsites (the English Bionicle one should be here).

Download your 'desktop boyfriend'

More magazine has launched a viral campaign in the UK in which it offers readers the chance to download a desktop boyfriend. The only problem is that you have to dump him after two weeks... A short but intense relationship :-(
Have a look at the microsite and decide if it's worth it...

Online ads sales continue to grow

On Yahoo! News, Carl Bialik of the WSJ talks about the healthy state of online advertising industry. According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, second-quarter online-ad sales were $1.66 billion, up 14% from a year earlier and 1.7% from the previous quarter.
The article talks also about formats, saying that paid-search ads are rising, while banners are slowing down. However it's interesting to read the opinion on the matter of Pete Petrusky, director of new media for PricewaterhouseCoopers:

"Search has grown at the expense of other formats. I don't think that's a long-term trend".

November 08, 2003
Rss and marketing... a new perspective

I�m writing an article about RSS and I�ve been reading quite a lot on the topic to get informed. There are a lot of articles and opinions out there about the marketing potentials of RSS. You can read some enthusiastic people saying that RSS is an unspammable medium, that it can deliver the advertising message using a �pull� model, that it�s cost effective, etc� On the other side the negative voices will tell you that it�s not measurable, that RSS is just for geeks, that is not (yet) integrated in email software, etc�
I would like to take a different (and additional) perspective in the discussion, not considering RSS for what they really are in their substance.
I believe the main issue about RSS� marketing potentials is connected to the information overload. There are tons of softwares installed on our computers: browsers, email readers, instant messengers, p2p, toolbars, desktop alerts etc� We get messages from everywhere, either in push or pull way (and I�m just considering computer mediated communication!). At work my Internet browser is always open. If I want to see if a Web site has been updated I just click on its link from my bookmarks. I don�t have to start another software and get the information downloaded on my computer. I do have a newsaggregator installed on my Mac, but I rarely use it. Maybe because I�m kind of lazy (I admit it), maybe because there are already too many windows open on my desktop, delivering me any kind of information just one click (and 5 seconds) away. I would tend to compare this point with the one associated to e-commerce web sites. The more clicks to buy a product, the less products get sold. The more clicks to get an headline, the less headlines�
So I�m not saying RSS aren�t a fascinating medium. They are extremely attractive from a marketing perspective. I�m just saying there are already tons of information out there, but a day has only 24 hours, at least mine�

November 07, 2003
Online advertising: a voice from Europe

On MarketingWonk I've posted an interview with Riccardo Polizzy Carbonelli, International Advertising Director of Tiscali, a prominent EIAA member. The discussion is focused on last week announcement by the European Internet Advertising Association (EIAA) and the Internet Advertising Bureau Europe (IAB) which introduced the first European Online Ad Formats package.

November 06, 2003
Everything you need to know about Reebok

Since one year and half Reebok has started a branding strategy to target young people between 15 and 25 years old. They have presented a new collection, the RBK, which reminds the streetware fashion and has clear references to sports, hip-hop and technology, topics that attract the attention of young prospects. On Le Journal du Net there's an excellent article (in French) by Rapha�le Karayan in which the branding campaign is described and commented, with a lot of interesting numbers and details.

Movie industry using the Web

Revolution Magazine reports Fox Kids Europe is launching a pan-European multimedia campaign to support the release of DreamWorks' 'Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas' on DVD and video.
At the same time, New Media Age says that Twentieth Century Fox is using a video rich-media banner to promote the cinema release of the director's cut of horror classic Alien.

Debating about pop-ups

On MediaPost Larry Dobrow focuses the attention on pop-ups, starting his analysis from the recent 'Clicks, Ticks, and the Destiny of Pop-Ups' session at Ad:Tech.
I found particularly interesting the opinion of Avi Naider, CEO of WhenU, who said:

"Pop-ups are not a monolithic entity. e mass market accepts TV commercials, but that took 50 years. Remember, two years ago, people were writing off the online medium completely".

HP Foto-Spass campaign

HP has launched a Foto-Spass campaign in Germany on the portal The creative developed by Chocolate Blue, which includes banner, as well as flyers, tv and print ads can be seen on online on the agency's web site.

November 05, 2003
SMS fever in the UK

Ananova reports today that the number of text messages sent in the UK reached a record high last month. According to the Mobile Data Association, 1.73 billion messages have been handled by the four mobile networks.

IAB UK ready for an advertising push

NetImperative reports IAB UK will launch an advertising campaign 'Online: The interactive ingredient'. The initiative will include print ads, direct mail and industry forums, with a media investment of more than �325,000. Beginning next year a microsite will also be launched and promoted with online banners.
The IAB is planning to regularly use marketing campaign to promote its activity and online advertising in general.

November 04, 2003
Drink a 'Sdrink' and win: a succesful campaign

12Snap has presented the results of the campaign "Bevi Sdrink e vinci con un SMS" (drink Sdrink and win with an SMS), developed on account of Granarolo, probably the biggest milk producer in Italy. The campaign has been running throughout Italy during May, June and July, generating more than 120.000 Sms sent by user to join the competition. As explained on consumers have been informed about the competition with a traditional media mix (radio and billboards), as well as with a direct SMS push.

Honda presents 'Critical Decisions' campaign on MSN

The 'Critical Decision' campaign to launch online the new Honda Accord has been developed by MSN with an extensive use of video and engaging solutions to to capture the attention of the millions of consumers. As explained in the press release this is Honda's first custom-designed promotion on MSN and represents the automaker's most elaborate and expansive online advertising effort for the 2004 Accord. The custom solutions package could be seen online at but, apparentely today the server doesn't work.

November 03, 2003
Automotive industry should take an emotional approach

Automakers and auto dealers are investing more and more money in online advertising. According to data from Borrell Associates Inc., presented on CyberAtlas, by the end of 2003 the spending will reach 1.3 billion $. The article, by Robyn Greenspan, features several more interesting data and information about the automotive industry strategy on the Internet.

Most of all, the article talks about the emotional approach to cars and auto brands. Not a usual topic of discussion that would be very much interesting to analyse further, maybe having a look at Mazda's new European web sites (see Italy for example), focused on customers instead of cars.

Is anyone making any money with advertising?

Very good question... Sean Carton today on ClickZ tries to answer it in a great piece about advertising market state of the art. "Advertising isn't dead - he says - it's just changing into something we may not recognize in a decade or so."

Take the "fire test" and win a great prize... maybe

Once in a while I can tell you about a successful online advertising in Italy. It�s the story of Chrysler promoting its Crossfire coup�, with �La prova del fuoco� campaign (in English it should be something like �The fire test�). As explained on DailyMedia, it consists of virtual travel on the Web through an �initiation� path which develops in four steps: Reveiling Chamber�, �Morphing Identity�, �Burning Evidence� e �Fire Walking�. Users will be driven to the Web site with a series of online ads (Pop-Up Pop-Under, Intestitial, Expanding banner and 123.000 Dem) exposed on the main Italian portals (Virgilio, Libero,, Msn, and Tiscali). Everyone who register on the site automatically joins a competition to win a full week-end test drive of the new Crossfire that will be launched on November 15th. The campaign, which has been online for a month and will last until December 1st, has driven 70.000 people to the Web site with 10.000 registrations: numbers that sound exciting on the Italian market.

The campaign idea (developed by the Italian agency Xister) is extremely original, and is based on the �interaction design� concept, which allows a deep and intense brand experience while browsing the Web site. However one has the feeling there�s something missing in this campaign: the prize. If you invest so much (money) in creativity and interactivity people might expect more than a test drive as a reward for their attention.

November 02, 2003
Eventually, the European online ad standardisation

The advertising industry in Europe is committed to make online as easy to plan, buy and create as offline campaigns. The European Interactive Advertising Association (EIAA) and the Interactive Advertising Bureau Europe (IAB Europe) have joined forces to develop a package of European Online Ad Formats, which will include a series of recommended ad sizes which will be implemented by the members of their networks to facilitate the implementation and growth of pan-European online advertising campaigns. As explained in the press release:

�This standardisation will increase the efficiency of planning and executing an online advertising campaign and is expected to remove the confusion created by sites having disparate format specifications and reduce the number of ads per page. The larger ad sizes in the package, such as the 728x90 Super Banner and 160x600 Wide Skyscraper, will give greater impact and encourage creativity.�

Ford KA: text and win

Ford has launched a mobile marketing campaign in the UK to promote its car �KA�: this month they will be sending postcards to consumers with a unique SMS codes on them. As Revolution Magazine explains, The code will be the key to enter a competition and win a shopping week-end in New York or a few shopping vouchers to spend at French Connection.

Are looking for more cool interactive ideas? Check the archives

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